Au Pairs from outside the EU must apply for a visa in their home country before they can start their Au Pair experience in Germany. The participants need to apply for it at the German Embassy or Consulate.
The length of stay depends on the agreement with the Host Family and it should be mentioned in the Au Pair contract. The duration of the Au Pair program should be at least 6 months.
Au Pair Visa
Young people from 18 to 26 years old can apply for an Au Pair visa to Germany. To do so, they must first find a Host Family and then make an appointment at the German Embassy. Interestingly, Germany is the only country where Au Pairs are allowed to be married. But please note that doesn't mean that you're allowed to bring your husband or wife to your Host Family's house. However, you cannot be a parent yourself if you want to become an Au Pair in Germany.
Step by step visa guide
Au Pairs need a valid passport that covers the length of their stay. They will also need to present the original and a copy at the embassy.
Au Pair contract
The Host Family will need to send a signed contract to their Au Pair. Make sure that all the important points such as working hours and pocket money are clear.
Appointment and visa application form
Download and fill in the visa application form available at the German embassy or the embassy's website.
In most cases, Au Pairs will need to present proof of basic knowledge of the German language. Usually the Goethe A1 Certificate or similar is enough.
Some German embassies require a motivation letter from Au Pairs in which they explain why they want to live the experience in Germany and learn German.
Candidates will generally need an invitation letter from their Host Family in which they explain a bit of the Au Pair duties and express their interest in the cultural exchange. You can find a template of the letter here.
Au Pairs from Non-EU countries must have a private health insurance valid in Germany. It must cover major medical expenses during the whole stay. This insurance is paid by the Host Family.
Au Pairs will get a 90 days visa, which they have to exchange for a residence permit once in Germany. To get it, they must first register at the local office (Einwohnermeldeamt) and then at the foreign office (Ausländerbehörde). Au Pairs from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea and the USA may travel to Germany without a visa, however, they will still have to apply for the residence permit.
Keep in mind that the Au Pair visa is not a standard work permit. Therefore, the Au Pair is not allowed to work in any other job in Germany.
German embassies recommend applying for the visa two to four months before the planned departure date. The visa process might take between 4-8 weeks.
Nationals of: Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea or Hong Kong might be able to apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa, too. Please contact the competent authority for more information.